Labour exporters have contributed considerably to improving living conditions and professional skills for guest workers after finishing contracts abroad.

The conclusion was announced by the Institute of Science, Labour and Social Affairs at a workshop in Hanoi on March 16 as the result of a World Bank-sponsored survey conducted on 500 former guest workers who worked abroad from 2004-08.

Up to almost 90 percent of respondents said their lives have become much better off thanks to their earnings abroad, which enabled them to boost household economy, afford education for children and refurnish houses.

Up to 84 percent of workers said their job skills have considerably improved after returning home. The ratio of guest workers joining agricultural production reduced from 71 percent to 53 percent after returning home, while the number of guest workers to hold managerial positions or fill high-level technical vacancies increased.

The survey has, however, pointed out several problems for guest workers after returning home, especially difficulties in finding jobs, as not many jobs are available in their home town, and limited assistance from local administrations. Guest workers who went home before their labour contracts expired due to economic crisis were sometimes unable to earn enough to cover travel costs.

The survey asked the State to issue policies encouraging labour exporters to place the returnees into jobs and instructed local administrations to take measures to support guest workers whose labour contracts are breached due to objective reasons.

The Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs reported that there are some 400,000 Vietnamese guest workers earning a livelihood in about 40 countries and territories. Remittances sent home by guest workers are estimated at 1.8 billion USD annually./.